The Zagarrón Velada Crianza Tempranillo 2011 is sourced from Bodegas Zagarrón vineyards in the La Mancha DO of Central Spain. Bodegas Zagarrón, founded in 1948, is a co-op of 780 grape growers with vineyards covering over 12,250 acres of land. La Mancha is the largest grape growing region in the world in terms of acreage. Spanish wines are labeled by how long they are aged, Joven wines are young wines with little or no oak aging, Crianza Red wines are aged for 2 years with at least 6 months in oak barrels, Reserva Red wines are aged for 3 years with a minimum of 1 year in oak barrels and Gran Reserva red wines are aged for 5 years with 36 months in oak. The Zagarrón Velada (translates to a special party or get together) is aged for 1 year in American oak barrels, then held an additional year in the bottle before release. The alcohol content is 13%.
The color is see-thru cherry red. The nose is Port-like, with a little cherry cough syrup. This is a rich, chewy, fruit-forward Tempranillo. It tastes of red berries, cherries and raspberry, along with molasses and plums. The tannins and the acidity are well matched to the body of the wine. The finish is large and in charge.
The Zagarrón Velada Crianza Tempranillo 2011 is a big, bold taste of La Mancha. One wonderful thing about the wines of La Mancha, is that in many parts of the world, wines that have seen a bit of barrel and bottle aging sell at a premium price, but in La Mancha these wines cab be very reasonable in comparison. I tend to drink a lot of “drink it now” wines, wines that are meant to be at their best young, that do not have a great deal of aging potential. Wine-makers have really hit their stride in producing excellent “drink it now” wines, but there is no replacing the pleasure of enjoying an aged bottle of wine (even if it is only a Crianza). The mix and the layers of flavors, along with tastes only an oak barrel can impart are a hedonistic joy.